Map of Fiji

Map of Fiji

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Story of Sea Mercy in Fiji After Cyclone Winston

Photo Credit Tessa Irvin
Below is an incredible video production by our friends at Telecine.ca that tells the story of Sea Mercy's efforts in Fiji following Cyclone Winston. It captures the volunteer heroes (captains, volunteers, sponsors) and the hearts and spirit of the people of Fiji who were impacted by this natural disaster.
As Sea Mercy winds down our 2016 Disaster Response & Recovery programs in the South Pacific, and with the dangerous and deadly results that Climate Change is producing, we are already preparing for not only "next year" in Fiji (continuation of current rebuilding programs), but also preparing for the "next one" (cyclone, earthquake, tsunami) no matter where it might hit; Vanuatu, Tonga, Kiribati, Micronesia, Palau, Solomon Islands, Marshall & Mariana Islands, or wherever we are needed.
JOIN US!
As a non-profit charity, we are always looking for those who believe in what we do and who want to help us help the often forgotten and "at risk" people living on the thousands of remote islands across the Pacific.
+ VOLUNTEER (medical, economic, education, disaster) 
+ IN-KIND DONATIONS (medical supplies, equipment, aid) 
+ FINANCIAL DONATIONS (individual, corporate, & foundation)
+ CAPTAIN & VESSEL (Floating Clinic, Disaster Response)
+ PROGRAM SPONSORSHIP
Please share this with your company, employer, family and social media network, and keep Sea Mercy and the people of the South Pacific in your thoughts and prayers as we enter the next cyclone season.
Visit us at www.seamercy.org to learn more about our programs.
Thank you.

Sea Mercy



Thursday, September 22, 2016

Emergency Drinking Water - Lau Group, Fiji

In the Lau Group and Taveuni, over 90% of the clean drinking water supplies comes from water catchment (roofs/guttering) into water storage tanks. On February 20th, Cyclone Winston destroyed or damaged 80% of the homes and buildings, leaving the remote island villagers without the ability to capture and store enough water to get them through the dry season. We are now 4 months into the dry season and our greatest fears have become a reality and the people are now in desperate need of clean drinking water. With only undrinkable brackish wells to pull from, and 3-4 months until the rainy season returns, they desperately need clean water delivered to them immediately.



Sea Mercy’s dedicated Landing Craft was built specifically to carry a desalination unit that can not only generate 10,000 liters of pure drinking a day, but also carries over 400 meters of flat fire hose to effectively deliver that emergency water to difficult to access water storage containers in a village. Since June we have generated and delivered tens of thousands of liters of clean drinking water to the devastated islands in the Lomaiviti area. The Lau Group now needs us!
The current drinking water needs for the dozens of at risk villages in the Lau Group and Taveuni areas is well over 100,000 liters if they are to make it through the dry season. To meet the emergency needs there, we will be relocating our Landing Craft to Northern Lau group and Taveuni areas and staging the necessary fuel there to operate the Landing Craft for the next 30-60 days (until the needs are met). We are seeking assistance to help cover the fuel costs of sending and operating her there.
We have calculated the fuel needs at over FJD $10,000 in order for the our Landing Craft to generate and deliver the necessary water to the “at risk” Northern Lau and Taveuni remote villages. We are seeking donations and sponsors to help us offset these operational fuel costs. If you can assist, please use the link below to visit our website and make a secure donation (Credit Card or PayPal). Thank you!


Northern Lau Group Recovery and Rebuilding Needs


Since May, Sea Mercy has had a fleet of volunteer sailing and motor yacht vessels performing remote island assessments and delivering emergency (food, water, shelter and medical supplies) and recovery & rebuilding aid to the devastated remote islands impacted by Cyclone Winston.
Our detailed and first-hand assessments of each island, coupled with the local leadership direction of Sea Mercy's Lau Fleet Director, Jonathan Robinson (S/V Chez Nous), has provided the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) and our Fiji based leadership team with the most accurate information available to insure any "Sea Mercy sponsored aid" is delivered to meet those specific needs.
With regards to the recovery and rebuilding projects, we have not taken the typical approach of "build it for them" but instead, we are providing them with the tools, supplies and instruction they need to allow them to "build it themselves" and to take ownership of the rebuilding. This approach has had a huge impact on the recovery phase, but the vast needs on these remote islands far outweigh our resources.
As a result, we are creating a "NEEDS" page to share with those individuals or organizations who may wish to assist us (partial or full sponsorship) to meet the specific needs. Use the link below to access the list of items needed and to donate.
http://seamercy.org/NorthernLau

Disaster Response & Recovery Work in the Northern Lau Group of Fiji by Jonathan Robinson



<via Facebook>

Great Article Written by Sea Mercy's Fleet Coordinator, Jonathan Robinson, about the Disaster Response & Recovery work in the Northern Lau Group of Fiji following Cyclone Winston.

Sailing with Sea Mercy

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/sailing-sea-mercy-richard-hackett


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Fiji Sun Article: Makogai School Rebuilding (Sea Mercy) August 31, 2016


A Symbol of Hope for Nasau - This 4 month project was a labor of love and many friends and partnerships were formed as a result. Sea Mercy had never tackled a project of this magnitude before, yet we were blessed with the financial, equipment and talent support needed from our local and international relationships. Individually, none of this could have been accomplished, but working together, no matter the size or distance of the project, anything is possible.
Great job to all those involved with the school project and we look forward to continuing to develop our programs and services to the people of the South Pacific.

Sea Mercy

"Thank You" Letter to Sea Mercy From Lomaloma Hospital

August 24th, 2016 - Vanua Balavu, Fiji

As Sea Mercy's Disaster Response projects in Fiji following Cyclone Winston draw closer to an end, the recognition and appreciation of our many volunteers for all their hard work, long hours, and use of their talents and resources are flowing in. Although seeing the joy and happiness of a local family, student or worker is reward enough, it is always encouraging to receive the recognition and "thank you's" coming in from the various ministries that we have worked with these past few challenging months.
The attached letter from the Ministry of Health is encouraging and the special recognition they have given to our Lau Group Coordinators Jonathan and Donna Robinson (s/v Chez Nous) is well deserved. 
Since February, the Robinson's have been the lead coordinators of Sea Mercy's Recovery Efforts in the Lau Group of Fiji. Whether it was coordinating the Response Fleet of 10+ volunteer vessels, delivering emergency food, water, shelter and medical care to the devastated islands, completing and submitting remote island assessments, securing additional aid, planting gardens, fighting infestations, securing more aid, digging wells, clearing debris, refilling water tanks, securing more aid, guiding visiting Super Yachts wanting to assist, rebuilding homes and hospital wards, and working with local officials and NGO volunteers... they have been the "tip of the spear" for Sea Mercy and have made the impossible happen in an impossible situation.
A heartfelt “thanks” to Jonathan, Donna, and the many other Sea Mercy volunteer captains, first mates, crews, and vessels who gave of their time, talent and hearts to assist the people of Fiji.
You are the face and heart of Sea Mercy and all that we do.

Vinaka!








Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Makogai School Rebuilding is Finished!

After....

After 4 months, thousands of volunteer hours, and visits from over 20 Sea Mercy volunteer vessels, today (August 31, 2016) is the official "Hand Over" ceremony of the school to the people living on Makogai. From where the school started (nothing) to where it is today is a testimony to the people directing this rebuilding effort.

Before...


Our deepest appreciation to the Project Leaders, Ian & Wendy Shields (S/V Outsider) and the many volunteers and sailors who gave of their time, talents and hearts to make this rebuilding a reality.






A heartfelt thank you goes to Geoff Deutschmann (Captain of the Sea Mercy Landing Craft) for the hundreds of miles and hours he spent delivering the materials to Makogai.


To Tracey Collins (Operations) and her countless hours organizing the warehouse, volunteers, aid shipments and the purchasing and delivery logistics following Cyclone Winston.
And last, but not least, to the many sponsors and partners who without your assistance and support, this school would still just be a dream for the parents and children living on Makogai.
You are all Sea Mercy heroes and we are so grateful for all that you have done to help the people of Fiji.
Have a wonderful Hand Over Ceremony today and give our love to the people of Makogai that have become a part of the Sea Mercy family!
Sea Mercy 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Makogai School Rebuilding Project - Sea Mercy Fiji WITH THANKS


What started as a small list of volunteer names on a board hanging on a wall, quickly grew to take over the entire wall. Since February 2016, it's hard to comprehend how many people played an important part in the rebuilding of the School on Makogai. With Ian and Wendy at the helm, so many of us were blessed to have been able to participate. 

Whether it was a captain and crew who were anchored offshore, a volunteer that traveled across the Pacific Ocean to dedicate a few weeks of their lives, or a staff member in Fiji (thanks Tracey) who spent months organizing each vital shipment of supplies and aid to the island, each person played an important role in the rebuilding process.

Some names are missing, some have yet to arrive in order to add their names to it, but each one of us who had the pleasure to be a part of this great project are grateful and excited to see the students reclaim what was lost to Cyclone Winston. The official ceremony will be on August 31st. We can't all be there, but we will always be there in spirit.
Our thanks to everyone who played a role.
Sea Mercy

(final school building pictures withheld until after the ceremony)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Makogai School Buildings (#2 here) are almost finished!













Ian and Wendy and all the volunteers that have participated in this project the past 3 months are almost finished with the school rebuilding project on Makogai. Here is a wonderful look at the painted murals on building #2 that captures the beauty and culture of the island.


Thank you everyone for you incredible hearts and help. The official ribbon cutting will take place on August 31st! Come and visit if you can. 










Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Loving the new Mural on the Makogai School !!



As the school rebuilding project keeps rolling, the students and volunteers added a wonderful mural to the front of the school. Loving the flag on the sailboat... Although in a few months the project will be completed, its great to know that there will be a little memory left behind that future kids will ask about. 
Great job Ian & Wendy and all the Sea Mercy volunteers who have made such a huge difference the past few months.

Vinaka!

Great "Sea Mercy" Article in Yachting World Magazine!

Sp rep MAIN
Rather than avoid regions that have suffered hardships, there are groups of sailors actively seeking out areas that could benefit from aid or emergency relief, writes Helen Fretter
Helen Fretter with Yachting World (August 2016) did a wonderful job capturing the heart and soul of Sea Mercy's Fleet Captains & Crews (small, medium and large yachts) land the effectiveness of their vessels in bringing disaster relief and recover aid to those in need. 
With a focus on the thousands of Remote Islands spread across the South Pacific, there is no island too far or lagoon entrance to narrow or shallow that they will not try their best to deliver the aid and medical teams to assist. Bringing food, water, shelter and medical care to one of the most "at risk" and neglected communities in the world.

Thanks Helen & Yachting World!



L/C Sea Mercy (Landing Craft) Arrives in the Lau Group!

L/C SEA MERCY


"Sea Mercy" (our dedicated disaster recovery Landing Craft) arrived in the Northern Lau Group of Fiji to begin a month long Emergency Water Generation program that will provide over 100,000+ liters of clean drinking water for the number of "at risk" remote island villages following Cyclone Winston. 
Although some water catchment (roofs, guttering and water storage tanks) have been rebuilt or repaired, because Fiji is currently into it's "dry season" (until October), there has been little or no rain to help replenish their drinking water.

Captain Geoff Deutschmann
Captained by Geoff Deutschmann, L/C Sea Mercy was designed not only as a heavy aid transport, but was also specially designed to carry a 10,000 liter/day desalination unit (a Spectra LB2800) to meet the crucial water needs of the remote island villages following a natural disaster. With it's shallow draft, yet 5 ton carrying capacity, it can slip through almost any reef and anchor in a remote lagoon to deliver aid. Carrying over 400 meters of water delivery hose (and hose floats) on-board, it can deliver water to almost any village water storage tank. The water produced is temporarily stored on the Landing Craft before being pumped to the waiting village.

L/C Sea Mercy spent the months of June and July in the Lomaiviti Group generating water (50,000 liters) and transporting rebuilding materials and aid for the Makogai School project and the Naigani Village rebuilding project.
One of 8 concrete water tanks being refilled by Sea Mercy on the remote island of Batiki (Naigani Village). With the buildings damaged or destroyed (roofs and guttering), there is no was to collect drinking water for the village until they are rebuilt and the raining season returns in October.

When the water was restored to the village, the people were able to return to help rebuild their village (they had relocated 3 kilometers away to Manuku village).

Traveling almost 200 miles across open ocean to reach the Lau Group, it will refill the storage tanks there before heading to Taveuni to help offset the fresh water needs in the villages on the southern side of the island.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Blog Post From Sea Mercy Disaster Response Vessel S/V Fluenta

S/V Fluenta
Max, Elizabeth, Victoria, Jonathan and Benjamin






It is always amazing to see the hearts of sailors who are willing to change plans and course to help people in need. S/V Fluenta (Max, Elizabeth, Victoria, Jonathan and Benjamin) are one example of the heart and soul of Sea Mercy. 
Living life at sea (full-time), they are a testimony of a wonderful lifestyle and choice for their family. If "life at sea" is your dream, I encourage you to read their blog to get a taste of it. Thank you!



Light A Village Program! Giving Light in the Darkest Times





Unless you've lived through one, it's hard to imagine how the devastating a massive cyclone can be and the impact it has on your life. For the people living on the remote islands who were in the path of Cyclone Winston, their way of life has been impacted for years to come. There are no longer power lines or generators to bring light into their homes or community meeting rooms, to charge radios or phones, or to bring emergency lighting for a nurse or doctor during an injury or pregnancy. In order to cook, work or read, they are forced to rely upon dangerous, toxic, and expensive kerosene lanterns as their primary source of light. 

Sea Mercy's "Light a Village" program is bringing "hope and light" back to these villages!

Sea Mercy has negotiated some outstanding prices with Fujian Better Newenergy Co., Ltd for their SLS-A Solar Lighting Kit. The SLS-A solar lighting system consists of solar panels, controller, battery and LED lamps. This system is designed to supply lighting for houses and schools in remote areas or regions where there is no electricity supply. It also has DC 5/12V output for home appliances, mobile phones and equipment. It can be provide from 7-14 hours of continuous lighting for a home, school or community center. This is a all-in-one kit that provides, renewable energy, zero pollution and is easy to carry.
Follow the link to learn more about how you can help bring hope and light to a village.  http://www.seamercy.org/lights

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Progress in Makogai: Another House Ready for Move-In This Week

Progress is being made in Makogai. This beach house will be home to two adults and six children. Best of all - they will be able to move in this week! WELL DONE TEAM!!!




















World ARC Rally Boat, S/V AIN'T FANCY, Donates Solar Panels.

The World ARC Rally passed through Fiji recently and Dirk from S/V AIN’T FANCY donated these solar panels and a MPPT controller to Sea Mercy. The panels were installed on the pastor's roof in Avea Island by volunteers in the Recovery Fleet.

Thank you very much AIN’T FANCY for your generous contribution.

Solar power provides cost effective and eco-friendly power to the remote villages of Fiji. Solar panels are high on our list of needed donations so, if anyone happens to be replacing theirs, please keep Sea Mercy and the people of Fiji in mind. 








 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Landing Craft "SEA MERCY" Is Launched and Gets Right to Work!

Cobra Boats and Marine Engineering launches the landing craft "SEA MERCY".

Two 250 HP engines.















Looking good  - time to get supplies loaded and head out to Makogai.

and they are off to Makogai.
Time to unload at Makogai.




  



 The quad and trailer (also designed and built by Cobra Boats) will take it from here. The combination of these two machines saves so much time and allows Sea Mercy to be much more efficient in their work. Thank you again to all of those who made this possible!!